One of the biggest names in Mobile broadcast journalism announced her retirement at the end of June.

FOX10 anchor/reporter Renee Dials retired after her June 30 broadcast. She made the move with little fanfare as the station announced the news just five days before her final time on air.

Dials’ retirement comes after 40 years at WALA-TV.

She’s a Detroit native who attended Wayne State University and joined WALA in 1977. It was her first — and last — job as a reporter. She also broke barriers as the first female African-American reporter in the Azalea City.

FOX10 celebrated Dials’ career during the last week in June by featuring remembrances of her 40 years from city leaders, co-workers and viewers. During an interview with anchor Bob Grip she talked about how rare it is for someone to get to do a job he or she loves for any amount of time, much less four decades.

Sinclair’s “Must Runs” get WPMI brief exposure
WPMI-TV’s morning show anchors Darwin Singleton and Kelly Foster got a few moments of national attention recently as a result of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s requirements that their stations run certain content and commentary pertaining to national issues.

The HBO news/comedy show “Last Week Tonight” recently took on the issue of Sinclair pushing what it calls “must run” content on its affiliate stations. The company — already one of the largest station owners in the country — is in the midst of acquiring Tribune Media’s 43 television stations. This would make Sinclair the largest station owner in the United Stations. The company currently owns two stations in the Mobile-Pensacola market, WPMI-TV and WEAR-TV in Pensacola.

“Last Week Tonight” took on the subject of Sinclair requiring its stations to run content host John Oliver described as tilting “noticeably conservative.” In addition to sending commentary to its local affiliates, Sinclair is also producing other segments such as “Terrorism Alert” and other “must run” content. Oliver’s report also focused on lead-in scripts sent by Sinclair for local anchors to read while introducing this content, and that’s where Singleton and Foster came in.

WPMI’s anchors showed up in a montage of anchors at Sinclair stations across the country reading a prepared lead-in to a story about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Oliver’s complaint was that the introduction itself was meant to raise questions about whether the FBI may have had a personal “vendetta” in investigating Flynn.

“Did the FBI have a personal vendetta in pursuing the Russia investigation of President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn?” the lead-in read.

Singleton and Foster were one of eight different anchors or anchor teams shown reading the script in the montage.

While Oliver espoused the opinion that Sinclair’s must-run content and commentary represents a way of pushing ownership’s conservative agenda, he also claimed some stations have rebelled by running the packages in the wee hours of the morning when viewership is lowest.